CAPA Opening Weekend

The CAPA opening celebration was both the unveiling of our new center designed by Tod Williams and Billie Tsien as well as an introduction to people and programs that are shaping the initiative's aims to fuse thought and action around the most pressing issues of our time. The weekend was much like the endeavor itself: a mix of thoughtful conversation and meaningful action.

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CAPA Opening Remarks

Opening remarks from journalist, author, and international human rights activist Rebecca Tinsley.

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Thanks to our many participants, the CAPA Opening Weekend was a huge success.

Alumni, students, faculty and guests brought a tremendous degree of passion, expertise, and thought to a wide range of programs; helping us understand how CAPA can instigate and support substantive dialogue, connection, and action around the most pressing issues of our time. Please check out our Flickr photo sets, video of the opening remarks, Twitter back-channel, and media mentions for coverage of the weekend.


  • Hands-on felting workshop and discussion on sustainability: Claudy Jongstra Studio
  • Political Fiction: Rebecca Tinsely, Journalist, author and human rights activist, read from her new novel, When the Stars Fall to Earth
  • Opening Remarks and Call to Action: Governor Peter Shumlin, President Elizabeth Coleman and Rebecca Tinsley
  • Performance: John Umphlett, visual arts technician, blasted us off with an air raid siren attached to a motorcycle

Meta Sessions - Governing and Health: Experts and non-experts in dialogue about two of the most pressing issues of our time—governing and health. Participants included:


  • President Elizabeth Coleman (moderator)
  • Governor Jim Douglas, 80th governor of Vermont, 2003-2011
  • Brian Campion, Vermont state representative
  • Mansour Farhang, former Iranian ambassador to the U.N. and international relations faculty member
  • James Geary '85, professional aphorist, author, journalist, former editor of the European edition of Time, and current editor of Ode
  • Robert Hartwell, Vermont state senator serving on the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Energy and the Senate Committee on Institutions
  • Nigel Jacob, CAPA Fellow and Co-chair of Boston’s Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics
  • Steve Lakis, President of the State Legislative Leaders Foundation (SLLF)
  • Jack McMullen, strategic consultant, Navy veteran, and 2004 Republican nominee for the United States' Senate from Vermont
  • Richard Sears, Vermont state senator
  • Rebecca Tinsley, journalist, author, and human rights activist


  • Veronica Gunn, CAPA Fellow, medical director of community services, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin (moderator)
  • Suzanne Brundage '08, CAPA Fellow, global health policy researcher, Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)
  • Barrie Cassileth '59, chief of integrative medicine, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
  • Richard A. ‘Buz’ Cooper, professor emeritus of medicine and senior fellow of health economics, University of Pennsylvania
  • Peter Haratonik, CAPA Fellow, media studies chair and associate professor, The New School for General Studies
  • Robert Ransick, digital artist and visual arts faculty member
  • Deborah Richter, family practitioner, former president of Physicians for a National Health Program, currently involved with Vermont Health Care for All
  • Gong Szeto, CAPA Fellow, strategic design consultant and one of I.D. Magazine's Top Forty Innovators


Tom Bogdan, faculty member, and eleven students animated the Lens with song.

Five CAPA Conversations

  • Media—An unmediated conversation: CAPA Fellow Peter Haratonik and CAPA faculty member Erika Mijlin
  • Aphorism vs. Slogan: The workshop that will change your life! James Geary '85 and CAPA Fellow Matt Kohut
  • Fighting Fatalism: Reconstructing healthy living using new models of community engagement CAPA Fellow Suzanne Brundage ’08, CAPA Fellow Veronica Gunn, and CAPA Fellow Nigel Jacob
  • How Complex Policy Gets Done: Educational reform through national standards. David Coleman, Jason Zimba, and Crystal Barrick '11
  • The Power of Infographics: How to turn an overwhelming amount of data into meaningful information. CAPA Fellow Gong Szeto

Piano Concert

Featuring pianists Amy Williams ’90 and Winston Choi, with Yoshiko Sato and Allen Shawn performing the works of Shawn, Kurtág, Bach, Williams, Sierra, Nancarrow and Varèse.